Have you ever heard someone talk about donating blood? Are you curious to know what the process is like? Well, follow us in this article where we will show you the requirements to donate blood, and everything you need to know. You will be surprised how easy and simple it is to donate blood.
The parameters for donating blood revolve around having good health, if so, you are a perfect candidate to donate. Blood donation is the process through which a person donates their blood, and four hundred fifty-five (455) ml (less than 1 liter) of blood is extracted in a special bag, which once analyzed will become received by a compatible patient.
”Sonia Quezada, PAHO / WHO Health Systems and Services Advisor in Ecuador, World Blood Donor Day is a recognition of those dreamers and heroes who save lives, and adds that 400 ml of blood can save three people ”(Pan American Health Organization)
Through scientific advances in medicine, currently donating blood is a humanitarian aid activity that saves thousands of people around the world, but it is not enough because the need for blood donors is becoming more and more necessary. .
Instruct our little ones, children and adolescents about the importance of donating blood is a vitally important task so that in the future when they can donate blood they will be volunteers committed to helping.
The Ecuadorian Ministry of Public Health has run a wide variety of campaigns to help people reflect on the need to donate blood. These campaigns have had great openness and publicity throughout the country. It is a whole movement of social work that every day has a better reception in people.
«In order to achieve national self-sufficiency of blood and its safe and quality blood components from 100% voluntary donors, and delivered in a timely, permanent and free way for the user, the Ministry of Health through the National Blood Program (PNS) reorganizes, regulates, issues and enforces public policy and technical standards for blood services at the national level ”(Ministry of Public Health)
Contrary to many myths about donating blood, this donation generates benefits for the donor, which we will learn about later. So go ahead and know the requirements to donate blood in Ecuador!
Requirements to donate blood
If what you need is to know what is needed to donate blood here we will tell you. In principle, the requirements to donate blood -in any donation center in the country- are the following:
- The person who is going to donate blood must do so voluntarily, that is, they should not be forced to donate, otherwise it would cease to be a «donation».
- You must have breakfast or lunch 2 hours before making the donation.
- Men can donate blood every three (3) months.
- Women can donate blood every four (4) months.
- Those under seventeen (17) years old and those over sixty-five (65) years old cannot donate blood.
- Also, people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or diabetic cannot donate blood.
- People taking medication will need to be screened to see if they can donate blood.
- It is necessary to have a minimum weight of 150 pounds (50 kilos) or more.
- After donating blood, you should avoid exercising, drinking alcohol, or smoking for six (6) hours.
If you meet all these requirements and want to donate blood, keep reading to discover how easy the process is and the benefits it will bring you.
Necessary papers to donate blood
The necessary papers to donate blood are few, first you must carry the original your Identity Card. But exceptionally, young people of 17 can donate blood if they have authorization from their parents or guardians and those over 65 years of age can donate if they present a medical certificate that authorizes them.
These are legal requirements for the protection of both donors and recipients. It is important to have a certain margin of legality to guarantee people that this process is being carried out in a transparent and legitimate way, for which the relevant bodies intervene with their regulations. In this regard we know the following:
Ecuadorian health personnel have for the first time a Technical Standard for blood donation, «With which the system will be consolidated and strengthened,» he commented to MEDICAL DRAFTING, Isabel Miño, coordinator of the National Blood Program. Now “all the services that collect blood have the same technical criteria to select the donor. “It is a historical instrument. It will be a complete guide to the network of public and private services”, The text of which is already available at the Ministry of Public Health (MSP). (Cristina Coello)
Steps to donate blood
The steps to donate blood are really simple and consist of the following process:
- You must first fill out a form with your personal data.
- Then a healthcare professional will take your pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and weight.
- The health professional will ask you a series of questions that you must answer honestly to verify that you meet the requirements to donate blood.
- Then you must go to the donation room.
- A health professional will draw 455 ml of blood, which will be collected in a special plastic bag.
- Once the blood is drawn, you must remain at rest for 10 minutes. Request that your snack be delivered.
- Don’t forget to request your voluntary blood donor card.
- Finally, the person is recommended not to smoke or drink. Nor that physical effort is made.
As you can see, they are a few steps really without any difficulty and without any risk to your health. Very badly unfounded myths are frequently generated about the possibility of getting sick from donating blood. Do not worry, firstly because the materials used are completely sterilized and the adverse physical effects are very strange but easily curable.
Before donating blood, it is recommended that people meet certain prerequisites, such as having slept about seven (7) or eight (8) hours the night before, having eaten at least two hours before -preferably low in fat-, avoiding smoking at least one hour before, have
a certain weight, among other requirements, to prevent such action from damaging our health. So if you are going to donate blood, prepare well!
And it meets all the requirements mentioned here. Above all, try to eat well and hydrate a lot. You can even take some victims to strengthen their body.
Remember to avoid vices that are harmful to your health, such as alcohol, cigarettes, etc. To be on the safe side, answer clearly the questions asked by your healthcare professional.
During the donation
Your healthcare professional will ask you to lie down and relax while your arm is cleaned with an antiseptic. They will draw your blood using a new, sterile needle, to avoid spreading any disease. This process takes approximately 10 minutes and collects about a pint of blood (455ml). Once the extraction is complete, the needle will be removed, pressure will be applied to the area, and you will be asked to stand up slowly.
During the donation process, your blood goes through a medical device that collects it and passes into a special plastic bag for refrigeration and transfer. It will be kept in blood banks, from where it will be processed and directed to patients who need it.
If for any reason, during the process, you remember any important information, you must notify the medical staff who treat you. Likewise if you start to feel bad.
After donating it is recommended that you drink plenty of fluids and reposition for 10-15 minutes. As we have discussed previously, it is important to avoid alcoholic beverages, smoking, or strenuous physical activities. These types of strenuous activities include driving a car or bicycle.
After donation, most donors are fine, however you need to know some of the Adverse effects what can occur during or after donation.
- Dizziness or vasovagal reaction: It is a problem that can be easily recovered, which occurs frequently in the first donation. It is accompanied by a drop in blood pressure, and is prevented by drinking plenty of fluids before donating.
- Puncture site problems: During the donation we can find problems at the puncture site that lead to the formation of a hematoma. This problem may be due to the channeling of a vein that is too fine. When this happens, we cannot continue the donation.
- Nerve injury: It is a very rare side effect that occurs if a nerve root adjacent to the puncture site is accidentally punctured. In these cases, the donor usually reports numbness in the hand, which resolves quickly and spontaneously.
We remind you that you should not be afraid of these adverse effects as they are very strange and almost do not generate medical complications.
A little prick for the lives of many! It is a very small sacrifice, which saves many lives in the country on a daily basis.
Where to go to donate blood in Ecuador?
As part of the National Blood Program, carried out by the Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador, the constitution of safe areas is carried out where donors can go to make their contribution. These facilities or places have the following characteristics, according to the Ministry of Public Health:
- The Collection and Distribution Centers They are facilities that have two main functions: to collect blood for shipment to the Blood Center, and to receive blood components processed from the Blood Center for distribution to the Transfusion Medicine Services in their area of influence.
- The Collection CentersThey are facilities that strategically located in the territory have the primary function of collecting blood for shipment to the Hemocenter.
- Mobile Units They are adequate vehicles with teams of professionals who travel to carry out extramural blood collections in institutions, universities, companies, public spaces and the community in general.
The Ministry of Public Health or MSP has stated the following regarding these areas:
It is so the Zoned Blood Model It is based on the complementarity, coordination and articulation of the Blood Services in terms of: promoting voluntary blood donation; the collection of deconcentrated blood and blood components according to population and epidemiological variables; the large-scale centralized production of blood components in 2 specialized processing centers (hemocentros) of the MSP; the distribution of blood products, and; in the development of a national quality management system that contributes to the reduction of production costs and the fulfillment of the highest quality standards in the processes of the Blood Services (Ministry of Public Health, National Blood Program)
Therefore donate blood you can go to any blood bank and collection points closest to your home or workplace. Here is a list of known places to donate blood in Ecuador:
- Quito Metropolitan Hospital
- Armed Forces Hospital (Quito)
- Hospital Carlos Andrade Marín IESS (Quito)
- Teodoro Maldonado Carbo IESS Hospital (Guayaquil)
- Guayaquil Charity Board
- SOLCA (Quito, Cuenca)
- Vicente Corral Moscoso MSP Hospital (Cuenca)
- Ecuadorian Red Cross (national)
- Clinicas Alcívar, Kennedy, Panamericana (Guayaquil)
- Blood Center – Omni Hospital (Guayaquil)
These are public and private service centers or hospitals that are distributed throughout the country. Surely on some occasion when you go to your work, home or for medical reasons you have seen some of these sites and they have generated some curiosity. Well next time, come closer! and discover the wonder of donating blood. Your help is always needed.
Benefits of donating blood
The Ecuadorian Red Cross (as well as other blood donation centers in the world) ensures that donating blood generates certain physical benefits for the donor. Such Benefits to donate blood, are the following:
By undergoing during the process to take vital signs (pressure, temperature, weight and pulse) you can alert about possible cardiovascular diseases, infections, among others.
The test of hemoglobin It is useful to know diseases such as anemia and polyglobulia. They can also be detected through tests carried out sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, Chagas, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C.
In the case of reactive tests, the donor is called personally and confidentially and asked to go to the Red Cross in order to take a new blood draw to run the tests again. The donor receives counseling before taking in order to sensitize the user about the risks and diseases. The positive donor is given initial psychological support at no cost and is referred to specialized institutions.
When you donate blood, your body starts a mechanism that starts the production of new blood. Oxygen transport is greater in the new cells produced, so it helps to «rejuvenate» or revitalize your health. Amazing isn’t it? Try it and you will feel the changes in you.
Other benefits are the delivery of blood products at no cost. The repeat voluntary donor is entitled to five blood products for himself / herself, or for his / her children under 17 years of age, or 2 blood products for his / her parents over 65 years of age. (For 6 months after your last donation).
Without a doubt, donating blood has great benefits for blood donors, so do not miss the opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of donating blood and actively participate together with the thousands of people who already participate.
Cost of donating blood
The cost of blood is a dilemma in today’s global sphere. The discussion between the different regulatory bodies of blood components, that is, the blood collection centers and the MSP generates one about what the cost of donating blood represents.
First, we must know that the person who donates blood does not receive any monetary remuneration, precisely because it is a «donation», one that is done voluntarily without profit.
It should be understood that blood as such is not bought or sold, what does generate a cost is the set of specialized procedures for its use, the materials and the use of specialized technical personnel.
In Ecuador, Ministry of Health (MSP) have the National Blood Program with established costs for public hospitals, but it does not have them for private ones. In other words, if a state center «needs» pints of blood, each one will cost an average of $ 52.67. While in private clinics the price varies.
For example, in Guayaquil hospitals such as the OmniHospital, a pint of blood could cost between $ 140 and $ 150. At the Kennedy Clinic the price offered is $ 155, although if the donor attends it may cost $ 110, while the Clinic Alcívar maintains a cost of $ 189.50.
The director of the Board’s Blood Bank, Román Ochoa, points out that the laboratory located in the Enrique Sotomayor Maternity Hospital has an automated system to perform serological and immuno-hematological tests that determine blood groups, phenotypes, irregular antibodies, etc. He assures that there are claims of people who come to sell blood, but that is prohibited by law. «The family member who needs to replace the blood at that time, looks for relatives or friends.» (EL TELEGRAFO newspaper)
It is a whole market based on blood. It is expected that the Ministry for Public Health (MSP) of Ecuador will take the necessary measures to fix this problem in the country. Without prejudice to the above, it is essential that people continue to donate. The more available blood donors, the greater the access to the pints and the lives saved will be many.
How much blood can be donated?
The amount of blood that can be donated is about four hundred and fifty-five (455) ml of blood. In the case of men, they can do it every three (3) months, which would allow them to donate about four (4) times a year. Women, on the other hand, can donate every four months, which would be three (3) times a year.
For this reason, it is not necessary that you specifically donate those amounts, as it is a voluntary act, you can do it 2, 3 or less times a year, but it is not advisable to exceed the amounts already mentioned.
Why donate blood?
If we ask a person the main reason why they have donated blood, they will surely answer us that it has been because a friend or relative needed it and although this is normal, and it is the reason that predominates in the national figures.
We must remember that blood represents a very important medical instrument that cannot be made in laboratories, that’s why people are asked to donate their blood. This process not only benefits the recipient, but also carries a number of benefits for the donor as we have seen above.
The truth is that the simple fact of wanting to help another person in a disinterested way is a great factor when it comes to saying why to donate blood. Think that tomorrow you need to undergo an emergency operation and there will be no blood transfusion for you. What a problem, right?
The timely, safe and efficient availability of quality blood components is essential for the care of patients of the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) treated in the Comprehensive Public Health and Private Network (complementary). Blood components are irreplaceable, necessary to improve the health of patients affected by multiple diseases, and anticipating their timely availability makes a significant contribution to reducing inequities in the country’s National Health System. In this sense, the Ministry must acquire the components from national suppliers with the adequate supply capacity to cover the demand for them. (Ministry of Public Health, National Blood Program).
Therefore, Mrs Blood! it is important to you and to everyone. The collaboration of blood donors is essential for the ma
health maintenance throughout the country. If your help can motivate other people (friends, family, colleagues), go ahead, do it!
The crucial thing about donating blood is understanding that with your contribution you will be helping to save many lives. When a person bleeds, at least three (3) components can be extracted from this blood that will help three (3) different people.
Many people say that psychologically they feel much better after making a blood donation, since they know that with their action they will be helping people who really need their help.
Can all blood types donate?
You have surely wondered if all blood types can donate. The answer is that certainly everyone can. What should be known is that there are four types of blood groups: Group TO; Group B; Group AB; Group OR. In addition to A and B, there is a third type of antigen, the Rh factor, which can be positive or negative (it is also called «absent»).
Typically, Rh negative blood is given to Rh negative patients, while those with Rh positive blood can receive both Rh positive and negative. These blood groups have some peculiarities when making the transfusion that must be known by the doctors who perform it.
Group O are the universal donors and they can donate red blood cells to anyone. For this reason, whenever blood donors are needed, donors of this blood type are often requested.
In contrast, those with type A blood can only donate to those with A or AB; those with blood type B, those with B or AB; and finally, those with AB blood type can only donate to those of the same blood group, but they can receive from all groups: A, B and AB.
Reason why it is recommended that people have their donor card and know well the blood group to which it belongs.
Our article for today reaches this point, we hope it will help you and motivate you to donate blood. Remember that with this simple act you will be saving the lives of at least three (3) people for each donation. And that like all good deeds you will be well rewarded.
If you are decided to participate in this activity, remember the requirements to donate blood that we have taught you and leave the center or company closest to your locality; and help raise awareness in your locality about the importance of donating blood.
Do not forget those who cannot donate blood are people with delicate health, pregnant women or people over 65 or under 17 years old. Of the rest, all blood types can donate every few months.
The Ministry of Public Health, in its great effort to promote voluntary blood donation, has held training workshops for the medical personnel of the centers in order to instruct them in new techniques and improve the donor experience. So don’t be afraid, make sure you meet the requirements to donate blood and attend your nearest center.
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